Music to my ears
Podcasts excel at telling stories, offering insight and adding depth to the music you are already listening to, or make you interested enough to listen to something completely different. A good music podcast will not only add weight to your perception of an artist or song, but allow you to absorb crazy amounts of knowledge in an hour or less.
Here, we present a mix of podcasts from the comic to the academic and all points in between!
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Based loosely on his recent book Perfect, Sound, Whatever, in which Acaster argued that 2016 was the best year for new music ever, Perfect Sounds sees him introduce fellow comedians to the albums which convinced him this was an incontrovertible fact. First up is Romesh Ranganathan (who’s got his own very good music podcast, Hip Hop Saved My Life) and Beyoncé’s Lemonade.Play
Song Exploder is a podcast hosted by the American musician and composer Hrishikesh Hirway. In each edition he interviews a musician about a particular song they wrote, cutting out his side of the conversation to allow the artists themselves to unwrap the story of their chosen song and show the finer details that lie within. The 15-20 minute shows provide a fascinating and insightful glimpse into the workings of a huge range of musicians.
In this episode he talks to Christine and the Queens about the single ‘Doesn’t Matter’.Play
In a unique weekly podcast, Edith Bowman sits down with a variety of film directors, actors, producers and composers to talk about the music that inspired them and how they use music in their films, from their current release to key moments in their career. The music chosen by our guests is woven into the interview and used alongside clips from their films.
Here she talks to Sam Mendes about the music of his latest film 1917. The score was written by Thomas Newman who also worked with Sam on American Beauty and his Bond films.Play
If you love true crime and you love music, you will love this award winning podcast. Disgraceland is a scripted, single voice narrative storytelling podcast that melds music, true crime, history and transgressive fiction. Disgraceland is not a journalistic podcast. It is an entertainment podcast inspired by true events. Presented by Jake Brennan
This episode is entitled:Madonna: Music as Sex and Sex as Power in the Reign of the Queen of Pop.Play
From Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam, and Justin Richmond. The musicians you love talk about their life, inspiration, and craft. Then play.
Nile Rodgers, the mastermind behind the disco band Chic and producer of artists like David Bowie, Daft Punk and Madonna, plays live with his band and talks about his life and long musical career in the very studio that was built for him to produce Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” album.Play
Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul
Jumoke Fashola hears from musicians, fans and producers from different parts of the world about what made Aretha Franklin’s music special. It includes contributions from South African singer Lira, American musician Valerie June, record company mogul Clive Davis, producer Narada Michael Walden, singer Sarah Dash and music journalist David Nathan.Play
An illuminating new series on the history of recorded music in which writer James Hall and music industry exec Dave Holley tell the stories of the pioneers who captured sound and turned it into an industry. It begins with Fred Gaisberg arriving in London from Washington in 1898 and opening Britain’s first recording studio before embarking on an expedition in search of new music.
Just weeks after arriving in London, Fred makes the world’s first disc recording of a female singer outside of America. The lady’s name is Syria Lamonte and, according to Fred, she’s a barmaid in Rule’s restaurant, next to his studio on Maiden Lane. Lamonte – real name Sarah Cohen – is an Australian who arrived in London from Sydney in 1896. But was Lamonte really the struggling waitress that Fred claims? Hall and Holley discover that Lamonte’s history is not quite as Fred described.Play
And for something a little bit different – new podcast, Wind of Change. It’s 1990. The Berlin Wall just fell. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. And the soundtrack to the revolution is one of the best selling songs of all time, the metal ballad “Wind of Change,” by the Scorpions.
Decades later, New Yorker journalist, Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumour: the song wasn’t written by the Scorpions but was in fact written by the CIA. This is his journey to find the truth.Play
Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and many more musical icons all died at the age of 27. Scandalous, tortured, dramatic, incredibly talented, these artists torched a wild path to their early graves and shifted and shaped our culture along the way. 27 Club tells their stories. Season one tells the story of Jimi Hendrix in twelve episodes. 27 Club is hosted and created by Jake Brennan, host and creator of the explosive music and true crime podcast, DISGRACELAND.
We start with Episode 1 entitled: Jimi Hendrix and a Forgotten Heroin Stash, a Very Drunk Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin Saving the Day.Play
In this new series, Laura will be talking to some amazing guests about their favourite pieces of music, what their relationship to that music is and how it has become the soundtrack to specific parts of their lives; finding out more about each of our guests through their music choices. From love, to pain, family to sports – we’ll be delving into the music they listen to and why it’s shaped them throughout the years.
This week’s guest is former Blue Peter presenter, currently seen on Countryfile and the celebrity version of SAS: Who Dares Wins and general super woman Helen Skelton. Laura and Helen discuss some of the tracks which have seen her conquer some of the toughest challenges while also talking about her life and career… including a few interruptions from her little ones!Play
This is not a music podcast, but an interview with one of the most influential people in the music industry. Here, Bloomberg’s Emily Chang talks to the rarely interviewed Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, about the company’s COVID-19 efforts in helping musicians, the $18 billion opportunity in advertising sales and reveals what’s on his pandemic playlist.Play
Why does music affect the way we feel?
BBC’s The Why Factor explores how and why music can exert a powerful effect on our emotions.Go to Podcast
Ways of Hearing
Ways of Hearing from is a six-part series, hosted by musician Damon Krukowski (Galaxie 500, Damon & Naomi), exploring the nature of listening in our digital world. Each episode looks at a different way that the switch from analog to digital audio is influencing our perceptions, changing our ideas of Time, Space, Love, Money, Power and Noise. This is about sound, and the ways we are using it to share information in the world right now. Our voices carry further than they ever did before, thanks to digital media. But how are they being heard?
In this episode entitled LOVE, Damon discusses how our digital devices are trading intimacy for efficiency. But what is the essential part of our voices and what isn’t? Guests include jazz singer (and Damon’s mum) Nancy Harrow, Roma Mars and musicologist Gary Tomlinson.Go to Podcast
Inside the Booming Industry of Background Music
Once derided, the successors to muzak have grown more sophisticated – and influential – than any of us realise. By Jake Hulyer for the Guardian, the Long ReadRead